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James Horsley of MD early 1700's, son James Jr. d. York, SC c1815

James Horsley of MD early 1700's, son James Jr. d. York, SC c1815

Posted: 1273541224000
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Horsley
I am a descendant of James Horsley Sr. of Maryland in the early 1700's and his son James Horsley Jr. who moved from Maryland to Virginia to South Carolina where he died in York County between 1810-1820.

I have been researching these two forefathers and their families through primary records for almost 10 years. Recently I placed online my extended research reports on each of them based on the information found to date. The research has led to some fascinating new discoveries, and the research is still ongoing, but I'm hoping that making available what I've found so far will help other researchers of James Horsley Sr.'s line and encourage us to share what we've learned so we can keep expanding our family's story.

I invite you to read the research reports and to let me know your feedback and any corrections, additions or questions you have. The reports are in PDF format and can be read online or downloaded for a printed copy. (Instructions for printing are included.) The reports run between 80-100 pages each, and each has a section of narrative (with citations and footnotes) and a timeline of records (with notes for additional information). I plan to add a complete index for each report as soon as possible, but for now you can use the search box at the top of the PDF version to look for particular people, places, etc.

These reports can be found online at:

"James Horsley Sr. of Maryland (c1685-c1748) and Our Horsley Family Beginnings"
"James Horsley Jr. (1731-c1815) and Descendants: The Road South From Maryland"

I know many of you wondered if I was ever going to get these reports finished (at times I wondered too!). I appreciate your patience as well as the valuable contributions several of you have made to this research. I look forward to hearing from anyone interested in this line about the reports, your ideas and suggestions, and about the Horsley research you have been doing as well.

(People researching Ralph Horsley and other Horsley families in early Virginia might like to take a look also, as it appears there may be connections in the mid-1600's between the early Horsley's in Virginia and those who were soon in Maryland.)

Best to all,

Joan Horsley

Re: James Horsley of MD early 1700's, son James Jr. d. York, SC c1815

Posted: 1288754033000
Classification: Query
You have done some AMAZING work. Thank you for all of your time on this. I am not sure I have any connections with this line but I am going to save it for future research.

I have Horsley in my family line. But right now, I only go back to a William in Greenup, Ky. He got married in 1830.

Have you seen any research with this family?

Re: James Horsley of MD early 1700's, son James Jr. d. York, SC c1815

Posted: 1288895801000
Classification: Query
Thank you very much. It means a lot to hear that my research may be of help to other Horsley researchers.

I know something about an early Horsley line in Greenup County, KY, which may be yours. The early Greenup Co. James Horsley previously lived in Culpeper County, VA, and served in the Revolution from there. For this service he received Revolutionary War Bounty Land in the part of Virginia that is now Kentucky or Ohio. James assigned the land to one Edward Valentine, a Captain in the Revolution who lost the use of a hand and suffered other war injuries. (There were other war vets who also assigned their bounty land to Edward Valentine, so I don’t get the impression that James Horsley necessarily was related to him.) By the 1810 census, this James Horsley of Culpeper County, VA had moved to Greenup County, KY, where he applied for Rev War pension in 1842. I have seen online information that this James Horsley may be a son of a John Horsley in Gloucester Co., VA, but I have not verified that.

I also found this James Horsley, later of Greenup Co., on personal property and land tax lists in Culpeper County. It looks like there were at least 2 men in Culpeper related to James, a Mathew and (I think) a William.

By the 1810 census, James Horsley is in Greenup County along with Mathew and Talor(sp?) Horsley. A John Horsley and an apparently widowed Nancy Horsley were in Boone Co., KY and a William Horsley was in Estill Co., KY.

At this point, I don’t think the Greenup, KY Horsley family is closely related to my James Horsley family first found in Maryland in the late 1600’s, but we can't know for sure until we verify the Culpeper/Greenup James Horsley’s father at least. However, my research indicates a strong possibility that the early Horsley’s in Virginia and my line in Maryland were somehow related. (I make some comments about this in my James Horsley Sr. paper, mostly in regard to Ralph Horsley--you can use the search function to locate him--and in the notes for a record of 14 Jun 1728 in the Timeline.)

The Revolutionary War pension application for James Horsley of Culpeper VA and Greenup KY is:
Revolutionary War Pension File S30490, Series M805, NARA.

There is an online image of selected parts of his application file on HeritageQuest Online, often available through your local library or a college in your area. The full file should also be on, a subscription site. If you can’t find the pension application, let me know and I’ll see if I can do an abstract for you.

Images of the files relating to James Horsley’s Rev War Bounty Land are available online:
Revolutionary War Bounty Warrants Records Images, Library of Virginia website.

The original Culpeper County VA personal property and land tax lists are available on microfilm from the Library of Virginia through your local library’s interlibrary loan. (See the LVA website or call them for film numbers.)

By the way, when searching early records, keep in mind that they often spelled Horsley as HOSLEY, as well as Horsely, Horseley, etc.

I’d like very much to hear from you when you find out more about your Greenup County Horsley line. Thanks again for your words of encouragement.

Joan Horsley

PS--I'm in the process of revising and updating both the James Horsley Sr. and James Horsley Jr. research papers and adding bibliographies and indexes. I'll post to this message board when those are online.
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